Labor’s Julian Hill believes the question of whether Parliament should be consulted before Australian troops are sent into armed conflict abroad should be examined through a parliamentary inquiry.
“At the very least we need to restore accountability to the parliament by way of requiring parliamentary debate and scrutiny of decisions of the executives with regard to deployment of military force.
I’m not however convinced that the responsibilities of executive government should be vetted and made subject to a parliamentary vote. This may risk national security being subject to nutters or popularists on the senate crossbench.
Over time it may also weaken the ability of an opposition that felt compelled to vote in favour of military action, to be able to hold the government to account in the months and years thereafter.
As well as the binary question of ‘are we at war or not’ fundamentally misunderstands the nature of the changing strategic environment where so called grey zone tactics are prevalent. For example, offensive cyber operation, secret submarine missions, SAS activities, drones, missiles and so on, as well as political warfare.”